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RTW, starting in London rather than NY, saves $$

RTW, starting in London rather than NY, saves $$

Apr 9th, 2011, 06:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 975
RTW, starting in London rather than NY, saves $$

Thanks to a recent round-the-world trip report on this forum by Carlux and the helpful follow-up postings by others, I've managed to save a good amount on the RTW tickets we just booked on Star Alliance. We originally priced an itinerary starting and finishing in New York, which came to about $12,500 for two tickets. Following the advice on this forum, we instead are starting and finishing in London for a price of $9,600. We will need to book a separate ticket to and from London, but given our time period (September-January) for the trip, I think we'll be able to get 2 tickets for well under the $3,000 we saved on the RTW tickets. Plus we'll get to spend a few days in London and see friends at the end of the trip before flying back to NY. Nice!

My husband has enough FF miles to qualify for a free RTW ticket but I don't (yet), and it was really going to be a pain--if not impossible--to work out the itinerary we wanted, on the general dates we wanted, given the restricted seats using FF miles, so we decided to save the miles, pay the $9,600, and bank the 25,000 or so base miles we'll be earning for use on another, less complicated trip.

It was fun and easy to work on the itinerary and book it on the Star Alliance website. We tried a few different ones, some of which didn't work because direct flights weren't available and thus there were too many legs (if a change of planes is required it counts as a leg, and only 16 legs are allowed). We're happy with our final itinerary.

Here's what we ended up with:
August 31 -- fly to London (tba)
September 2 -- London-Milan-Palermo (for 3 weeks in the Aeolian Islands off Sicily), on Lufthansa
Sept 25 -- Palermo-Milan-Istanbul, on Turkish Airlines (5 weeks in Turkey)
Oct 31 -- Istanbul-Ho Chi Minh City (stops in Bangkok) (6 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia, internal flights booked separately), on Turkish Airlines
Dec 13 -- Ho Chi Minh City-Singapore-Manila-Palau (10 days in Palau), on Singapore Airlines and Continental
Dec 23 -- Palau-Guam-Ponapei (also stops in Truk), on Continental
Dec 28 -- Ponapei-Honolulu (stops in Kwajalein and Majuro), on Continental
Jan 3 -- Honolulu-Phoenix-San Francisco (Phoenix, ugh) on US Airways and United
Jan 9 -- San Francisco-London, on United
Jan 15--fly home to NY (tba)

Not necessarily my first choice of airlines (particularly US Airways), but in some cases we had no choice and in all cases we chose the shortest (time) route with the fewest stops available. For the next few months I'll be reading all the postings in the relevant country forums and looking forward to a great trip.
aprillilacs is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,306
There are likely some even cheaper places to start than London. I believe that Seoul and Cairo have often been especially cheap places to start.
travelgourmet is online now  
Apr 11th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,552
aprillilacs, if you don't fly US Airways regularly, you may be pleasantly surprised. Their negative reputation seems to have outlived their actual poor service. We fly them all the time, and like them just fine.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
"Jan 9 -- San Francisco-London, on United
Jan 15--fly home to NY (tba)"

Why didn't you just fly SF to NY? If you needed to complete the circuit then you book a NY to London leg but then not take it.

As for London in early January - sooner you than me.
alanRow is offline  
Apr 12th, 2011, 06:04 AM
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Why didn't you just fly SF to NY? If you needed to complete the circuit then you book a NY to London leg but then not take it.

For the miles, silly.

For the Star Alliance RTW product they're (probably) using, the price ex-UK is among the cheaper ones (in US Dollar terms.) They could have saved around $500 per ticket by starting in some place like Israel or Egypt, but the access costs (i.e. the before- and after- positioning flights) would probably have eaten most the difference. As it is, the UK is around US$500 cheaper than the Euro zone for 29,000-mile YRWSTAR1 tickets.
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 13th, 2011, 05:14 PM
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Glad to hear that US Airways may have improved from the last time I flew them.

Flying to Seoul or Cairo to start and finish didn't seem to make much sense, for a number of reasons.

The Star Alliance rules require that we complete the circuit. We did think about choosing a flight that stops in NY and just getting off there--but we weren't sure we could actually pull that off. So have some fun in cold, dark London before returning to NY.
aprillilacs is offline  
Apr 14th, 2011, 01:17 AM
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If you need to purchase a one-way ticket from New York City to London, consider flying through Dublin.
wally34949 is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 11:21 PM
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They will be using a USA-LON RT ticket I assume to START their trip.
lincasanova is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269

good info on a complex subject

Virgin/Air New Zealand RTW from 600 quid

cheapest I have seen lately consolidators

airbrokers.com airtreks.com saved me some in the past.

Careful research yields best price.

Generally not always cheaper from extra US locations.
qwovadis is offline  

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